What date is the Budget 2020? Predictions for Chancellor Rishi Sunak's new plan

Rebecca Speare-Cole
Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak leaves after the first meeting of the cabinet the day after a reshuffle: AFP via Getty Images

The first Budget of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's majority government is weeks away.

It is the country's first finance plan outside the European Union in more than four decades.

After the Conservative Party's landslide election victory, Mr Johnson and his newly-appointed chancellor Rishi Sunak are in a position to radically reform taxes and public spending.

The Tories are expected to introduce changes to pensions, housing, tax and social care as they face the difficult challenge of catering to very different audiences.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, flanked by Rishi Sunak (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

So when will the Budget take place and what will it likely include?

What date is the Budget 2020?

The Budget will be read out in the House of Commons by the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak on March 11.

Mr Sunak is sticking to the launch date set by his predecessor Sajid Javid.

Mr Javid postponed the Budget in November to make way for the December general election that resulted in a landslide Conservative victory and Boris Johnson staying on as prime minister.

What are the Budget predictions?

This budget needs to satisfy the needs of several very different audiences.

These range from traditional Labour voters in the Midlands and the north of England - who gave the PM his 80-seat majority - to traditional Tory voters, the financial markets and foreign governments.

The Conservatives have promised that the Budget's main focus will be following through on election pledges to reduce the economic inequality between the south and the north.

National Insurance

Their main manifesto personal finance pledge was a tax cut for more than 30 million workers, which will likely be confirmed in the Budget.

This would take the form of an increase in the threshold for paying National Insurance to save workers earning more than £12,600 around £100 a year.

The Budget could also include better workers' rights to protect those on zero-hour contracts and maternity leave.

Mansion tax

Boris Johnson has ruled out the option of introducing a "mansion tax" on expensive properties.

This is a reversal of Mr Javid's proposal to introduce a wealth tax on owners of pricey homes in the Budget.

Pension tax

It is unclear whether Mr Sunak will back another proposal by Mr Javid that would see pension tax relief restricted for people earning more than £50,000 a year.

Chancellor of the Exchequer as new Chancellor Rishi Sunak is understood to be preparing to announce that parts of the Treasury will be moved to a location in the north of England (PA)

Cutting the relief from 40 to 20 per cent for these earners would raise an estimated £10bn for the Exchequer but it could also alienate traditional Tory voters.

Borrowing or tax rises

Mr Sunak will have to use his first Budget to put up taxes if he is to maintain the Government's rules on borrowing, a leading economic think tank has warned.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said loosening or abandoning the rules, set out in last year's Conservative election manifesto, would undermine the credibility of any fiscal targets the Government set.

Fuel Duty

Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak have been warned by Tory MPs - including more than a dozen newly-elected members - against raising fuel duty.

They have been alarmed by reports that the Chancellor is considering ending the freeze on fuel duty rates which has been in place since 2010.

Inheritance tax

A cross-party group of MPs has called for a large cut to inheritance tax. At the heart of these proposals is a plan to cut inheritance tax to 10 per cent from 40 per cent.

Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak have been warned by Tory MPs - including more than a dozen newly-elected members - against raising fuel duty. (PA)

Social care

In the Queen's speech, the Government also promised to target the social care crisis with an extra £1bn of funding for councils.

To do this, there could be hidden tax increases to pay for social care as councils will be able to increase council tax by 2 per cent to raise extra money.

Housing

In the speech, the Tories also turned to housing, suggesting a new policy to offer a 30 per cent discount for key workers and first-time buyers who are purchasing properties in their local area.

Further details on this policy could emerge on the First Homes scheme in Mr Sunak's statement, which is expected to cut the cost of new-builds by almost £100,000.

Climate change

The Government has also suggested ways to help the environment, including additional charges on single-use plastics.

Who is the new Chancellor Rishi Sunak?

Rishi Sunak was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer by Boris Johnson in February 2020, just weeks before the Budget was set to be launched.

He was elected MP for Richmond (Yorks) in 2015 and his rapid rise saw him appointed chief secretary to the Treasury when Mr Johnson became prime minister in July 2019.

Mr Sunak is considered a Johnson loyalist and represented the PM during 2019 election debates.

Britain's Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak arrives at 10 Downing Street (AFP via Getty Images)

Just six months later he is the Chancellor of the Exchequer, having moved through ranks like the under-secretary of state for local government.

The 39-year-old took up the post after Sajid Javid resigned during a cabinet reshuffle in the wake of Britain leaving the EU on January 31.

Mr Sunak is far less experienced than his predecessor and as chief Treasury secretary, he was not technically a full cabinet minister.

In contrast, Mr Javid served as culture secretary, business secretary, housing secretary and home secretary before being appointed chancellor.

Former Chancellor Sajid Javid departs following the weekly Cabinet Meeting within number 10, Downing Street on February 06 (Getty Images)

Mr Javid resigned after months of tensions between Downing Street and the Treasury.

It came to a head when the PM's chief special adviser Dominic Cummings fired one of Mr Javid's aides, Sonia Khan, without his permission.

Mr Johnson promised to keep Mr Javid as chancellor after the general election in December.

However, in weeks leading up to the reshuffle, media reports suggested that a new rival finance ministry could be established with Mr Sunak at the lead to reduce the power and political influence of the Treasury.

Mr Javid resigned as chancellor on February 13, the day of a cabinet reshuffle, following a meeting with the PM.

Mr Johnson had offered Mr Javid a chance to keep his position on the condition that he fire all his advisers and replace them with ones selected by Downing Street but he refused and quit.

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